So I actually just picked up a fire staff to gain mastery and try to understand what you’re talking about.
I’m basically a rooted target to hit for free during a heavy attack
You are more mobile than a bow user while heavy attacking. You also are not zoomed in like a bow user, giving you greater situational awareness which is invaluable in PVP. If I’m aiming in with bow, I cannot see AoE abilities at my feet until I release the shot and stop aiming.
But the point is that there is no compensation for having a slower, lower range attack in any instance of group PvP.
Slower? Your heavy attack gets its shots out as fast as bow’s light attack. It refunds mana, reduces cooldowns by 10%, and has a much larger projectile with the same speed as an arrow.
Bow can use poison cloud and put a 12% dmg DoT on anyone who steps into it. Now compare that to mage burning field, that does 10% damage to anyone IN the field, and for 6 seconds, 9 with the skill? That’s hilarious. So walking through the poison cloud for 0.1 seconds does 240% weapon damage, but walking in the field for 0.1 seconds does 10% damage?
These are two different types of abilities with different CDs and different difficulties attached with hitting them.
Poison shot, which is a thin projectile, does not headshot, and does 50% weapon damage on direct hit, leaves a 3m cloud for 6 seconds that applies a debuff dealing 12% DoT (10% without perk that you forgot to mention) for 20s - so 240% weapon damage is dealt over 20 (TWENTY) seconds. It has a base 30 second cooldown.
Fireball is a fat blob that deals 140% weapon damage on direct hit (beats bow), leaves a 3m damaging area of effect (inherently different mechanic than poison shot) for 9 seconds that deals 10% damage (2% less than bow) per second spent in the AoE.
It has a base 14.6 second cooldown (More than half of bow with more CDR options).
Hitting it reduces all your CDs by 7% while also refunding mana.
Fire staves have much more consistent and reliable CDR mechanics than bows and their CDs are shorter. So “the fact that you can use an AoE once in a while” is an exaggeration when compared to bow CDs.
Oh, and speaking of DoTs, your light attacks apply them
- Did you know that there is a skill that allows each tick of your DoT to grant 10% fortify?
If you say that bow is the best dueling weapon, why not mention that it’s also a better weapon in any other aspect of group PvP as well?
FS is better than bow in dealing burst AoE damage and applying more consistent DoT.
- I just found out that you can combo Pillar of Fire, Fireball and a light attack (410% direct damage + DoT and ability effects) in the same time as bow can shoot 2 light attacks.
Have you ever tried landing a Pillar of Fire in PvP?
Really? Have you ever tried consistently landing the heavy attack headshots everyone complains about? Pillar of Fire barely has a delay after cast and doesn’t provide a tell of when it is being cast, unless you’re so slow that it makes it obvious. Rain of Arrows has bow users looking at the sky and then deals damage more than a second after casted.
Ice storm is also just a field that you can walk by, and it only lasts for 5 seconds.
Ice storm deals 17% weapon damage every 0.33 seconds for 5 seconds, so 255% over the whole duration. (255% damage over 5 seconds?? That sounds a hell of a lot better than Poison Shot’s 240% over 20 seconds!) You’re right in that you can walk - not run - by it because it slows if you actually use it on top of 1 or more people (this also makes it a lot easier to hit your abilities on those super mobile heavy armor bow users!). You can also root people in Ice storm with heavy attacks.
In other words, get good.